By nature, weddings are fraught with details, with the possible exception of last-minute elopements in Las Vegas. Brides everywhere agonize over the location, décor and floral arrangements with an intensity rivaling some nuclear arms summits. On the most important (and most photographed) day of any bride's life, it's crucial that her makeup doesn't fall by the wayside. After all, going easy on the makeup can leave a woman in white looking unnaturally pale, and overdoing it can quickly turn a blushing bride into a Bobo the Clown clone. Fortunately for brides of all seasons, times of day and locations, TLC has some suggestions for looking natural -- yet radiant -- and keeping that glow for the entire ceremony and reception.
Easily the most glamorous of all weddings, the evening wedding also holds a great deal of potential for cosmetic disaster. Makeup experts caution brides not to go overboard with excessive eye makeup, too-bright lips and cheeks, and heavy, cakelike foundation. After all, the groom should be able to recognize his bride as she walks down the aisle!
Instead of over-emphasizing every lovely feature, experts encourage brides to play up one and take it easy on the others. Beautiful and slightly dramatic eye makeup offers the most bang for your buck in terms of appearance (and it will photograph nicely, too). Smoky eyes, paired with sheer or light-colored, glossy lips are a glamorous, but not overwhelming combination that's popular for evening brides. Just be sure to keep a light hand with the eye makeup as "smoky" can quickly morph into "raccoon," especially if the bride sheds a few tears during the ceremony.
The natural light that accompanies a daytime wedding can be a bride's best friend, both in pictures and in person. An unfussy look is the safest bet for daytime weddings because neutral tones emphasizes the bride's true beauty, rather than relying on a lot of attention-stealing makeup. Brides should use minimal foundation to avoid unsightly caking, which is revealed in detail by daylight. Blush in a peach or pink color (depending on skin tone, of course), paired with pastel or natural-toned eye shadow creates a look that's both fresh and classic.
Daytime brides -- especially those having outdoor events -- should also consider steering clear of dramatic eyeliner colors, such as black or dark brown. Instead, opt for softer colors like charcoal or mahogany, which will still make the eyes pop. Wise brides who intend to spend time in the sun during the ceremony or reception will also incorporate a little SPF into their beauty scheme via a light moisturizer, foundation or sunscreen to avoid unfortunate burns. No one wants to start peeling halfway through the honeymoon!
Wind, bright light and precipitation quickly turn a blushing bride into a sticky mess. The elements can be unpredictable, so take steps to minimize makeup distress. Waterproof mascara (which should be worn during any type of wedding!) is an outdoor wedding must-have to avoid unattractive streaks. Powdered foundation is a useful tool because it holds up better when faced with heat or perspiration, unlike liquid foundations, which may run. Cream-based blush also tends to withstand the wind better than the powdered variety, although the latter fares better during the hotter months. Sticky glosses are best replaced with a matte lip during windy outdoor weddings when hair is likely to be blown about. The ideal lip palette can be achieved ahead of time to allow for maximum lipcolor staying power. Simply use a toothbrush doctored with a bit of sugar and olive oil to slough away dead skin, then apply a neutral lip liner to the entire mouth. Finish off the job with a matte lipcolor of your choice, and reapply as needed for the perfect pucker.
A bride probably won't wear a super low-cut gown in a formal wedding that takes place in her church's sanctuary, so it makes sense to keep her makeup clean and understated, too. A church wedding is certainly not the time to let your inner pop star shine (leave the glitter and rhinestone body decals at home, girls!). Pastors, priests and rabbis alike will silently thank understated brides for exhibiting such decorum in their house of worship.
Instead, opt for classy makeup without all the fuss during the ceremony, and if you want a little extra drama, add a darker lip color, extra mascara or smoky eyeliner before hitting the reception. Be sure to test your mascara ahead of time to pick a variety that won't clump when you add an extra coat or two.
The sun, sand and ocean spray are all well and good when sunbathing in a bikini, but they're not so kind to brides. As with outdoor weddings, stick to powder foundation or simple spot concealer, if your skin tone allows. Oil-free foundation applied sparingly with a foundation brush is another viable option. Creamy shadows and blushes, although radiant when worn in temperate climates, run like the wind in hot and humid tropical settings. Powder versions are the much more sensible option, particularly if layered on top of an eye and face primer, which considerably lengthen the lifespan of your makeup.
No matter which type or what quantity of makeup the beach bride dons, it must all be applied on top of a layer of sunscreen to prevent sunburns and skin damage. Makeup touch-ups, which can sometimes be avoided at indoor weddings, are an absolute necessity at beach weddings. Blotting papers, coupled with extra eye shadow, lip color and powder can keep a beach bride looking radiant (rather than greasy) long after the sun has set.
Take a look at this photo album to see all of our style suggestions for the unique and unexpected style bride!
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- 5 Figure-flattering Accessories for Plus-size Brides
- Bridal Beauty Secrets. The Knot.com. (April 22, 2010). http://wedding.theknot.com/wedding-beauty-tips/bridal-beauty-secrets.aspx
- Bridal Makeup Artists.com http://www.bridalmakeupartists.com/index_main.php
- Gold, Dinah. "How to Have a Beach Wedding." Brides.com. (April 22, 2010). http://www.brides.com/planning/receptions/feature/article/8685
- "Makeup Tips from Stila's Jeanine Lobell." WeddingChannel.com. (April 22, 2010). http://weddings.weddingchannel.com/wedding-planning-ideas/wedding-hairstyles/articles/makeup-tips_from-stilas-jeanine-lobell.aspx
- Papanek, Kathryn. "Kimara Ahnert's Wedding Makeup Essentials." Brides.com. (April 22, 2010). http://www.brides.com/beauty/makeup/feature/article/198487
- "Summer-friendly Makeup Tips." The Knot.com. (April 22, 2010). http://wedding.theknot.com/wedding-beauty-tips/bridal-beauty-secrets/articles/summer-friendly-wedding-makeup-tips.aspx?MsdVisit=1
- Team Wedding Blog. http://www.topweddingsites.com/